Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tanaka Struggles as Yankees Lose Jeter's Second-to-Last Game

Derek Jeter went 1-for-2 before being pinch-hit for and Bryan Mitchell tossed four innings of one-run ball, but since Masahiro Tanaka had his worst start of the season and the offense struggled mightily against Joe Kelly the Yankees dropped the now-DH's second-to-last game today, 10-4, to the arch-rival Red Sox.

Throughout his five-out performance this afternoon, surprisingly, Tanaka really did labor, surrendering seven hits and five earned runs as Boston crossed home nine times in their first two at-bats.

So, as is usual when that sort of thing happens, he and the Yanks couldn't find a way to win, not even circling the bases until the seventh when Brendan Ryan connected on a sac fly.

Indeed, this contest wasn't a fun one for them, but since they still rallied for a top-of-the-eighth trio when Chris Young singled with the bases loaded and Stephen Drew knocked in two with a ground-rule double the aforementioned Kelly wasn't able to record a quality start, the only positive you can take from this blowout in which Tanaka's ERA rose to 2.77 and the Daniel Nava/Yoenis Cespedes duo dominantly drove in five.

My Fondest Derek Jeter Memory

Set the stage, a hot and muggy night in Atlanta, Georgia the date was June, 14 2012 and the New York Yankees were in the ATL to take on the Atlanta Braves in Interleague play. This was the night after Alex Rodriguez hit his 23rd grand slam of his career tying the great Lou Gehrig for first on the All-Time list and it was about an hour before game time. I had been at the ball park since the gates opened at 5:00 pm and I watched the Yankees take batting practice, I watched the team stretch and joke and have fun, and I saw what would become my greatest Derek Jeter moment of my life.

As you know I was born in the Bronx, New York and moved to Atlanta with my mother in 1999. I was in New York for the 1996, 1998, and 1999 World Series and the 1997 and 1995 playoffs so I got to see plenty of Jeter first hand. When I moved here to the south the thing I missed most was my Yankees and seeing them, Jeter specifically, play live. That’s weird that I didn’t miss my childhood friends that I had made in my 14 years as a New Yorker, my school, etc., all I missed was my Yankees. With this in mind when the Yankees come down to Atlanta I always purchase my tickets well in advance for the best seats in the house as close to the Yankees dugout as I can get.

On this day I had second row seats directly to the left of the Yankees dugout, you could see inside the dugout the entire game. The game was not my fondest memory though, it was when the Yankees came off the field shortly after 6:00 pm ET and Derek Jeter walked over to the stands to say hello and to sign autographs. Immediately my section was flooded with fans but I didn’t mind and neither did Jeter. I tried to get an autograph that day but obviously all the children went first and we were so swarmed I never got close enough to but that was okay too. I was more than content watching Jeter sit there and sign autographs and interact with fans, Yankees and Braves alike, until the 7:00 hour when the National Anthem was played in Atlanta. Derek sat there and signed autographs and took pictures and interacted with us for right at an hour.

These are the kinds of moments that most of the casual fans will never know about or hear about because MLB Network and ESPN aren’t talking about it. This is something that all true Yankees fans know, love, and appreciate about Jeter and this is just a sliver of what made him truly unique and special to not only the fans but to the game of baseball. Jeter played the game like a kid and acted like a fan and we love him for it. Thank you Derek and if you see AJ Burnett around, who snubbed thousands of fans more than once on that night, tell him I said hello. 

9/27 Open Game Thread vs. Boston Red Sox

Welcome to Game 161 and the open thread for the matchup between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Derek Jeter has two more games in his career including this afternoon so enjoy him while it lasts. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound this afternoon to face off with Joe Kelly for the Red Sox. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on FOX, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Get your Yankees tickets here on the blog for the last days of Derek Jeter. Also be sure to follow the blog on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and please Like our page on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

It’s an open thread so go crazy Yankees family. Enjoy the game and as always, Go Yankees!

Tanaka Looking to Gain Offseason Confidence With Today's Start

Yankees' ace Masahiro Tanaka's goal today is to gain confidence for his first Major League offseason.

Tanaka, 13-4 with a 2.47 ERA this year, returned to the team after a two-and-a-half month absence last Sunday, holding the Blue Jays to just one earned run over 5 1/3 innings.

“(Getting through today healthy) should give me some confidence and just be able to go back home to Japan and work out the way I want to,” Tanaka recently told The Journal News. "I do really want to go out there again and check to see how my arm is. That’s kind of the main thing I’m looking for."

In last week's outing, Tanaka surrendered just five hits while striking out four. It was the third time this year he had beaten Toronto and the second time he had done so at Yankee Stadium.

“I still want to go out there and check to see how my arm, how my body is,” Tanaka said. “But obviously, compared to the first time, to last Sunday, no I’m not (concerned). There’s no fear or anything.”

This afternoon's start will be Tanaka's twentieth in Pinstripes. Of the first nineteen, interestingly, sixteen have been quality, or lasted at least six frames while allowing no more than three runs.

9/27 Game Preview vs. Boston Red Sox

Welcome to the penultimate game of the 2014 New York Yankees season as the Bronx Bombers take on the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park in Game 161. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound, Happy Tanaka Day everybody, to face off with Joe Kelly from the Red Sox. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on FOX, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Tanaka is making his second start off the 60 day disabled list as he continues to rehab a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Tanaka’s first start since July 8th came last Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays where he allowed just one run over 5.1 innings pitched. Tanaka will be limited to right around 85 pitches this afternoon.

Kelly is pitching towards a 2015 rotation spot for the Red Sox and has posted a 4.00 ERA in nine starts since being acquired on July, 31. Kelly held the Baltimore Orioles to just two runs and three hits on seven innings in his last start on Sunday.

Go Yankees!!

Derek Didn’t Cry & Neither Did I

Mariano Rivera set the bar pretty high in 2013 when Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter took him out of his final game in the Bronx by sobbing on the mound in Andy’s arms. I think we all hoped and halfway expected Jeter to cry during his last trip to the Bronx but he didn’t, and neither did I.

If the Yankees had taken him out the way they had planned with a parade around the field and players like Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Rivera, etc. I think I would have sobbed like a baby and I think Derek would have to. Instead Derek went out the way Derek wanted to go out, playing a full nine innings, being the hero, and winning the game.

It’s hard to cry after you get so emotionally pumped up after a walk off victory. A victory that I halfway take credit for as when the bottom of the 8th started I predicted on Twitter that David Robertson would blow the save so that Jeter could walk off. I have been known as the “Yankee Wizard” on Twitter in recent weeks due to predicting almost everything but the winning lottery numbers and Thursday night was no different. It truly amazes me that Jeter continues to one up himself and it amazes me even more than we haven’t come to expect it yet.

I didn’t cry Thursday night and neither did Jeter but I truly think that will be a totally different story tomorrow when his season and his career ends after 20 great and magical seasons. Well, at least one of us will cry and I’m not afraid to admit it. 

TGP Daily Poll: Derek Jeter Will Play The Outfield In Boston

There has always been this speculation that Derek Jeter could not finish his career at the shortstop position due to his age and lack of range. The speculation has always been that Jeter would likely have to move to a different position, whether it be second base or the outfield, to finish his career. Mariano Rivera stated that he would always like to play the outfield before he retired, although he didn’t, so why not put Derek in the outfield just for a change.

Vote in our poll. 

Derek Jeter & The Yankee Wizard Strike Again

Does last night count as something spectacular?

This is probably pretty hard to predict, and I admit that, but just go with it. We all know Derek Jeter has the flare for the dramatic and tends to come up huge in big spots so with that in mind, do you think Jeter does anything spectacular this weekend or next week against the Orioles as the Yankees finish out their Yankee Stadium schedule?

Vote in our poll!

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/27: 4,000,000 Plus Fans

The New York Yankees continued to sell tickets and smash records in the 2000’s and on this day in 2006 the stadium in the Bronx saw its 4,000,000th fan enter the ballpark. This marked the second consecutive season that New York surpassed 4,000,000 fans in one season. The Yankees and the 1991-1993 Toronto Blue Jays are the only teams in major league history with 4,000,000 plus fans in more than one season.

Also on this day in 1998 the Yankees won their seventh straight game to end the 1998 season 114-48. The Yankees .704 winning percentage marked the first time a team finished a season with over a .700 winning percentage since the 1954 Indians who went 111-43.

Finally on this day in 1938 we finish on a somber note as Lou Gehrig would hit his 493rd and final home run of his career. Gehrig’s home run came off Dutch Leonard of the Washington Senators. It is also worth mentioning that one this day 15 years earlier Gehrig hit his first home run of his major league career off the Red Sox Bill Piercy.